On Wednesday, July 10, at 8 p.m., the Kokomo Park Band will present its annual Big Band Night in Highland Park.
Dr. “Mo’ Trout, of Purdue University will lead the hybrid group of musicians consisting of KPB players and some of the Midwest's finest jazz performers. The program is a tribute to the Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert featuring Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie.
All though many of the selections on the original concert were performed by smaller groups, the KPB Swing Band will perform big band versions made famous by some of the top band leaders of the classic Big Band era (1935-1945). Featured soloists include Gary Wallyn and Cherresa Lawson on vocals.
Selections include “Don’t Be That Way,” from the Benny Goodman Orchestra, “Sometimes I’m Happy” arranged by Gerry Mulligan, “One O’Clock Jump” by Count Basie, “I’m Coming Virginia” by Artie Shaw, “Shine” by Harry James, “A Flower is a Lonesome Thing” by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, “Avalon” by Nat King Cole and Count Basie, “I’ve Got Rhythm” by George Gershwin, “Swingtime in the Rockies” arranged by Jimmy Mundy, “Bei Mir Bist Du Shoen” byMartha Tilton and Benny Goodman, “Big John’s Special” by Horace Henderson, and “Sing, Sing, Sing” Louis Prima.
Dr. Marion T. “Mo” Trout is an active clinician, adjudicator, trumpet soloist, and guest conductor for jazz bands, concert bands, and orchestras throughout the United States. As a Professor of Music and director of the jazz program at Purdue University since 1997, Dr. Trout directs the Purdue Jazz Band, the American Music Repertory Ensemble, the Jazz Lab Band, and the Concert Jazz Band.
Under his direction the Purdue Jazz Band has collaborated with numerous jazz artists including Bill Watrous, Bob Mintzer, the New York Voices, Tom Harrell, Allen Vizzutti, Eddie Daniels and Eric Marienthal to name only a few. Dr. Trout’s Purdue bands have toured throughout the US and Europe and performed at such prestigious venues. In three European tours the band has performed at the Montreux, Alpine and North Sea International Jazz Festivals and hosted a study abroad tour to Italy in 2008 and another to Eastern Europe in 2011.
Vocalist Cherresa Lawson is director of the award-winning Kokomo High School Choirs. She was the 2005 American Traditions Competition semi-finalist and was invited to perform at the event for the past two years. Cherresa has performed jazz, blues, and pop music at numerous venues across the Midwest for several years with various artists including the Caribbean Consort Steel Band.
Male vocalist Gary Wallyn is a native of Chicago, Ill. He has served as a band director for 21 years at Princeton and Kokomo High Schools. More recently he served as interim music director and instructor at St. Joseph College and Indiana State University and is currently the band director at Alexandria Schools near Anderson.
Kokomo High School is the backup location in the event of bad weather. The Ballroom Dance Club of Kokomo will assist with program distribution. The concert is sponsored by Stout Funeral Homes and Crematory.